We hear it every year, that this Dallas Mavericks team is different, but it may really be time to actually start believing it. From ESPN: “This was so … so un-Mavericklike. Dallas overcoming a 16-point deficit to win a road playoff game? In Staples Center, where they had lost 18 of their 22 games to the Lakers? Coming up with big defensive plays? Dirk Nowitzki outdoing Kobe Bryant? Mark Cuban declining to go on a tirade about the officiating after the Lakers shot almost twice as many free throws as his squad, and instead walking away from a group of reporters with a gigantic grin on his face? Let me check the jerseys and the equipment bags. Yep, Dallas. And this box score I’m holding is a final. That’s 96 points for the Mavericks and 94 points for the Lakers. That’s a 1-0 series lead for Dallas. This is happening. ‘This is not the same old Mavs,’ said Tyson Chandler, whose presence can help explain that. ‘In the past, you beat ‘em up and then they give up and you get aggressive and you back down. This is a different team, different squad, different look. Hopefully we get a different outcome.’ They’ve already advanced to the second round, a rare feat for them recently. And they’ve already done something that not even the good ol’ Mavs, back in the Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Derek Harper days managed — win a playoff game in Los Angeles. The Lakers didn’t give, the Mavericks took. They took home-court advantage in this series. They took away the near-lock that comes from a Phil Jackson-coached team winning the first game of a playoff. They took away any notion that the Lakers had an easy path to the Western Conference finals.”